I was wondering what was for dinner shall it be peanut butter on my left finger or maybe tonight I will make it interesting and put it on my right.
That’s right I am on the dole. Its not much mind you-$684.00 a month. My rent is $525.00. Oh and my prescriptions are well over $400. Do the math. Would anyone choose this? Well, fact is I did and I didn’t. I did work for many years on and off and came to realize I was not exactly successful at holding a job. The general consensus is I have a mental illness that makes me a bit unstable-not stupid-just unstable. Unstable in the sense there are some mornings or weeks that I am so anxiety filled (manic) or non moveable (depressed) there is not a chance in hell I could go anywhere much less perform on a job. I suffered years of chaos, unemployment and poverty. I was continually encouraged to file for Social Security Disability. I resisted thinking ultimately I would pull through and I certainly did not view myself as “disabled” (and still don’t). I have met people that I call “generationally' disabled. They expect to receive disability because their parents did and on and on. It was like an important rite of passage much like a bar mitzvah or a holy communion the day they received their “Award Letter” from the Social Security Administration. I am surprised there are not themed items at Hallmark for the family celebration. In my family “being on the dole” is a disparaging remark. While they look down on this segment of society-they simultaneously offered me little alternative to meeting my basic needs. I am helped sporadically and grudgingly. Which I feel obligated to add I am grateful for. I am viewed as a problem. So, I went ahead and took the plunge and applied.. To my surprise I received it in record time and on the first try. Historically claims are rejected at least once. My first reaction was great and then I thought wow I am sicker than I thought. Then I became sad. It was official I have been labeled “disabled”. For all practical purposes I am no longer expected to contribute to society. Could this be? And how the hell was I going to live on 684 dollars for the rest of my life. I have been sentenced to a life of poverty. I am healthy. I am reasonably intelligent. What now?